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Recap / Family Guys S 2 E 6 Deathis A Bitch

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Original air date: March 21, 2000

To avoid paying a hospital bill, Peter writes that he's dead on it. This leads to trouble when Death injures himself chasing Peter.

This episode contains examples of:

  • Agony of the Feet: When Stewie is massaging Death's foot, he accidentally breaks off one of his toes.
  • Arson, Murder, and Jaywalking: Peter passes a black cat, a raven, and a Black man, the former two of which are traditionally seen as harbinger of bad luck, and the third a play on the word "black."
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  • Ambiguously Gay: Peter's doctor, in his debut.
  • Breaking the Fourth Wall: After Peter is told by Death to kill the kids from Dawson's Creek, he changes his mind and says to Death on the phone, "If they die, I'll have nothing to watch on Wednesdays", he moves his eyes slowly to the viewers saying nervously, "Other than the fine programs on Fox".
  • Companion Cube: Peter recalls the good times he had with his bike and has a flashback where he asks the bike if it wants more tea.
  • Deadpan Snarker: It's Norm MacDonald as Death, so this was to be expected.
  • Death Takes a Holiday: Since Death is injured, everyone becomes immortal.
  • Did I Just Say That Out Loud?: Peter refuses to kill the cast of Dawson's Creek.
    Peter: If they die, I'll have nothing to watch on Wednesdays... [eyes widen, looks at the screen, and smiles nervously] ...other than the fine programs on Fox.
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  • Dramatically Missing the Point: When Peter gets his hospital papers, he questions the lady at the front desk asking if the paper he's holding is the price of his hospital bill or his phone number. The woman replies that's simply his phone number. Dumbfounded, Peter fires back that whatever it is, it's still pretty pricey. Prompting him to fake his death to avoid such bills.
  • Elephant in the Living Room: Peter and Lois choose to ignore the giant squid on the kitchen table.
  • Fanboy: Stewie, who is ecstatic to meet Death and frequently asks him to kill Lois or Peter.
  • Gilligan Cut: Double Subversion
    Peter: Forget it, Death. I'm not going to do your dirty work. There's no way I'm getting on that plane. Absolutely no way, and that's final.
    [cut to reveal that Peter is still there]
    Peter: See? I'm still here. And there's nothing you can say that'll change my mind.
    Death: Either you kill them, or I kill you.
    [cut to reveal Peter on plane]
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  • Gory Discretion Shot: Tom Tucker tries to kill Diane Simmons with a chainsaw, but Death turns off the TV before anything happens.
  • Hot for Teacher: A cutaway shows a scene of Dawson's Creek, showing the character Pacey in bed with teacher Tamara Jacobs.
  • I Love the Dead: Death remembers when he was on a date during his adolescence. After his date dies during sex and lamenting that he was going to remain a virgin forever, he reconsidered and the car the two were in started rocking again.
  • Interrupted Intimacy: Lois and Peter are beginning to have sex when she discovers the lump on his breast and fears that it's cancer.
  • Jerkass: Death. While in the Griffins' care, he makes crude remarks towards their lack of good television channels, choice of various magazines, and scolds Lois's cocoa by claiming it "tastes like crap". Despite all this, the Griffins still take care of him.
  • Lampshaded the Obscure Reference: "Karen Black, what an obscure reference."
  • Sex for Services: Subverted. Death tells Lois that he'll spare Peter's life but Lois owes him one. Lois sighs and starts unbuttoning her blouse. Death quickly interrupts and asks what the hell she's doing; he was talking about another fruit cup.
  • Matricide: Stewie's e-mail is
  • Shout-Out: The title of this episode refers to the saying "Life is a bitch."
    • 60 Minutes After Dark, a show Peter and Lois watch, is a combination of the news show 60 Minutes and the raunchy variety show Playboy After Dark.
    • Peter mistakes the lump in his breast (a fatty corpuscle) for comedian Fatty Arbuckle.
    • When Death eats an entire turkey leg in one bite, he attributes the ability to "some films" he appeared in. This is a reference to the act of deep throating in pornographic films.
    • Death's remark to Peter, "Hey, I caught Flo-Jo," is a reference to the untimely death of runner Florence Griffith Joyner.
    • When Death decides to stay with the Griffins, Peter objects saying, "How are we supposed to explain you to Mr. Roper?" referencing the original landlord, played by Norman Fell, from the sitcom Three's Company.
    • The pilot of the plane points out the San Fernando Valley beneath the plane where his brother "makes a very nice living directing porn." San Fernando Valley is the center of the US pornography industry.
    • Actress Karen Black successfully lands the plane, as her character did in the film Airport 1975. Newscaster Tom Tucker calls it "an obscure reference." He also mentions her other films Five Easy Pieces and Nashville.
    • The varied passengers on the plane, nuns, Girl Scouts, etc, are reminiscent of the film Film/Airplane!, which spoofs the disaster movie genre.
    • Stewie uses a tricycle to push Lois down a flight of stairs, a reference to the 1976 thriller The Omen.
    • As Peter looks at the cast of Dawson's Creek, the show's theme song "I Don't Want to Wait" by Paula Cole plays.
    • At the end of the episode, Death gives Peter The Complete Boz Scaggs.
    • After Peter takes Death's robe, Death wears a Providence College hooded sweatshirt.
    • A scene cutaway shows Jack from Titanic not being able to die.
  • Take That!: Why else would Death suggest that Peter kill those kids? After Peter tells the kids from Dawson's Creek who Karen Black is, they just stand there deadpan not knowing who she is and Peter hates them for it.
    Peter: You damn kids and your music!
    • When Peter asks Death "Who are you?" he answers "I'm Calista Flockhart," referring to the actress's thin and bony frame.
    • Stewie says that his last helping of white meat was "dryer than Oscar Wilde," referring to the Irish writer's sense of humor.
    • When Death is requesting an Entertainment Weekly magazine, he mentions that there is a picture of him sneaking up on Tom Snyder, who wasn't dead when the episode aired. Snyder died on July 29, 2007 in San Francisco from complications of leukemia.
    • Death exclaims that the Griffins' TV is so old that they could get the Du Mont network on it. Ironically, FOX grew out of the Metromedia TV stations, which in turn were a successor to Du Mont. As such, Clarke Ingram, who maintains a Du Mont memorial site, has suggested that Fox is a revival of Du Mont.
  • Teeny Weenie: In "60 Minutes After Dark", Lesly Stahl remarks to one of the three male talkers, "...and one of you is hung like an elf".
  • Tear Jerker: When Death comes to claim Peter, he says goodbye to his family who are all in tears (minus Stewie). Thankfully, Peter is taken away, but still.
  • The End... Or Is It?: After convincing the world that Death does exist, Death thanks the Griffin family and jokingly warns them that he will be back "real soon".
  • Touch of Death: Peter inherits this from Death when filling in for him, as simply wearing Death's shroud causes anything Peter touches to instantly die.
    Peter: Note to self, do NOT go to the bathroom.
  • Ungrateful Bastard: Everybody according to Death. He's tired of being seen as the bad guy for doing such a vital job.
  • You Kill It, You Bought It: While Death recuperates from his sprained ankle, no one can actually die. He intended to just wait it out, but then Peter screws up and lets everyone know no one can die. Death is still not recovered enough to do any reaping, so he gives his job to Peter—saying he'll let him off the hook if he ensures a major death.


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